19 June 2006

Cherry Tree

Our cherries are ripe! So we'll be eating A LOT of these for the next few weeks...

Sour Cherry Muffins

1 1/2 pitted sour cherries, drained
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 egg

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugars, baking powder and salt together. Gently fold in cherries. In another bowl whisk the milk, oil and egg, then add to cherry mixture until just combined (don't overmix). Spoon batter into greased muffin cups and bake at 375 F for 23~25 minutes.

10 June 2006


A few weeks ago I had a hankering for limeade. So I bought some limes and squeezed them by hand . The resulting beverage was delicious, but my hand was awfully cramped. You can imagine what a sucker I was the next day when I happened to be in Costco and spotted this lemonade maker. There was no way I wasn't going to buy it, particularly with memories of the previous day's painful limeade experience still fresh in my mind. Since then, I've more than recovered my $16.99 investment. It's been refreshing to have limeade, lemonade, or as pictured here, orange juice anytime. The most unexpected bonus: when friends were over the other day, making lemonade together was great entertainment!

06 June 2006

Thomas' New Face

So I was frantically decorating this Thomas cake for Koji's birthday. I had just drawn Thomas' face on a round piece of cake and stuck it to the front of the body and then walked away for a moment. When I came back, what did I find?! That's right, Thomas did a face plant. I was really upset! I'm not great at drawing and that Thomas face had been the best I could do! So I decided to change my strategy and put Koji's face on the train instead. Phew~nice save! Here are other views of the cake:

I made a double recipe of All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake and baked half of it in a 9 x 13 and the rest in two small loaf pans. The base of the train was the 9 x 13 cut in half lengthwise and stuck together with lots of buttercream. Then I carved the two loaf cakes into the rounded top of Thomas' "nose" and the boxy top of his cabin (this explanation would sound better if I knew the technical terms for different parts of Thomas' body). After that, because I had run out of time and energy for coloring my icing, I faked it with food coloring spray. This is a highly recommended product for the mom in a hurry! Or just for anyone who wants to have fun with food! The color was not as intense as if I had colored the icing, but it served my purposes well. Last but not least, I'm sure you've already figured out that Thomas, er, "Koji the Train"'s wheels are Oreos, but they aren't just any old Oreos! They are MINT Double Stuf Oreos with blue "spokes" piped on. Yes, I would do the whole thing again and I probably will next year. What character/theme should we go with